Aston Villa are closing in on a deal to sign Fleetwood Town starlet Josh Feeney, according to reports from Birmingham Live.
The 16-year-old has been in talks with the Premier League club and looks set to agree a permanent deal to move to Villa Park as he looks to progress in his career.
A ball-playing central defender, Feeney was clearly highly-rated at Highbury Stadium after breaking into the first team fold at just 15 years of age and being named on the bench for Fleetwood’s League One clashes against Doncaster Rovers, Burton Albion and MK Dons during April and May.
While it’s Villa who look set to win the race to his signature, Feeney has certainly been spoilt for choice with regards to his next move.
The report from Birmingham Live claim that the defender was set to join Manchester United before Aston Villa emerged as his preferred destination, while Wolves, Leicester City, Leeds United and Celtic were also said to be interest.
However Villa are clearly intent on developing young players after investing £14million into the club’s academy set-up which saw the young side win the FA Youth Cup against Liverpool this term.
This seems like a really smart move for Josh Feeney.
It’s clear that the 16-year-old is a really talented prospect for the future but the focus for him must be on finding the right opportunity for his development.
While some clubs offer better finances and higher prestige, it seems that Aston Villa could be a solid choice based on their mission of providing a pathway for their talented young players to step up to first team level.
It’s a blow for Fleetwood Town to lose the player, but I’m sure that they’ll wish him well as he prepares for an exciting new chapter in his career.